By Dave Andrusko
Well, as they say, to state the obvious….
Last spring, pro-abortion Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims did his best not only to harass and intimidate pro-lifers peacefully praying outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic, he livestreamed his aspersion hither and yon AND added that he would pay money to learn their identities and other personal information.
But when Sims finally apologized in late October, it was in private, in the form of a card sent to the family of two of the three teenage girls he harassed.
Here’s how the Catholic News Agency described what had gone down on Holy Thursday, just before Easter:
Sims had recorded Ashley Garecht, two of her daughters, and one of their friends while the group were praying out the Planned Parenthood clinic in Philadelphia. Sims posted the video on his Twitter account and said that he would pay $100 for information about their identities.
In the video, Sims called the girls “pseudo-Christian protestors” who were “shaming young girls.” In other videos published later, Sims can be seen shouting at an elderly woman who is praying outside the same clinic on a different day. When pro-life group Live Action tweeted the post, he responded by saying the organization, founded and run by women, were “misogynists.”
It’s actually worse than that, as The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo explained.
When Mr. Sims targeted the pro-lifers, he called them “a bunch of pseudo-Christian protesters” and accused them of “shaming young girls.”
“So here’s the deal,” he said in the video, “I’ve got a $100 for anyone who will identify any of these three.”
The girls’ mother [Ashley Garecht] told Sims, “We’re actually here just praying for the babies. And we actually believe women deserve more.”
“I’m gonna donate to Planned Parenthood,” Sims interrupted. “So, look, a bunch of white people standing outside a Planned Parenthood —”
“I’m pretty far from white,” one of the teen girls interjected.
“There’s nothing Christian at all about what you’re doing,” the Democrat accused. “Nothing Christian or loving or Godly at all about what you’re doing.”
During the same livestream, Sims approached a male pro-lifer outside the clinic and demanded his name and address. After the man calmly complied, Sims asks him why he thought it was “okay to tell women what’s right for their bodies.” Before the man could answer, the representative told him he was “not really asking” because he “doesn’t care.”
“Shame on you!” he yelled at the pro-lifer.
“Guys, Planned Parenthood is out here facing attacks daily from people like this, from pseudo-Christians saying that they are here to somehow protect their own version of Christianity,” Sims concluded in the video. “So do me a favor, if you’ve watched this, please consider donating $100 to Planned Parenthood. I’m gonna do the same.”
Joseph Garecht, the husband of Ashley Garecht, and father of two of the girls harassed, sent out a statement which read, “Our family forgave Mr. Sims many months ago and we extend that forgiveness again now.
“It is our sincere hope that Mr. Sims will modify his conduct in the future and that he will stand in defense of all citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights in the public square, including those who advocate for life outside of abortion facilities.”
“We take Mr. Sims at his word that ‘he has learned a great deal’ from the response to his filmed harassment and intimidation,” Garecht continued, “and so he now bears the responsibility of showing by his actions that dangerous and threatening behavior toward others he disagrees with has no place in our society.”